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Spear Factor: Warrior, Thief, and Engineer
13. Juni 2024 um 16:00 Uhr

Your spear skills with have you jabbing, spinning, and skewering in all-new ways!

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When Guild Wars 2®: Janthir Wilds™ launches on August 20, each of the nine professions will have access to a new set of spear weapon skills that have new skill effects and animations! If you missed the expansion details, be sure to check out our Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds announcement blog first.

Our blogs last week provided a general Q&A for how spears will work and a sneak peek at the new skills for the ranger, necromancer, and guardian. This week, game designers Chun-Hong Fung, Cal Cohen, and Karl McLain from our Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds combat feature team are ready to discuss the warrior, thief, and engineer respectively.

Warrior Spears: Damage from a Distance

A warrior wielding a spear in Janthir Wilds.

The warrior spear is a power-based weapon inspired by ancient Sunspear techniques, capable of striking multiple opponents at range. Even though most of their skills can attack distant foes, some of them gain increased effectiveness when used on closer targets, making opponents think twice about closing the gap.

The warrior spear autoattack is Mighty Throw, which hurls the spear at a single enemy, shattering on impact and sending spear fragments into other enemies around the target. Proximity to the target matters, as the closer the target is to the warrior, the more fragments are created.

Maiming Spear is a ranged area attack: the warrior launches the spear into the air, dealing initial damage and crippling foes in the area of effect. This cripple is helpful to prevent enemies from escaping the aftershock that follows, which is larger the closer the targeted area is to the warrior. If breathing room is required, Spear Swipe propels the warrior backward in an evasive maneuver before sending a gust of wind forward to knock enemies back.

Finally, the spear burst skill, Harrier’s Toss, allows the warrior to leap up into the air, evading attacks while hurling the spear down with explosive force and dealing more damage the more adrenaline is spent on the burst attack!

Chain Attacks with the Thief Spear

A thief wielding a spear in Janthir Wilds.

Thief spear is a melee hybrid weapon that can be utilized by both power and condition damage builds. It also draws some inspiration from an old system in the original Guild Wars® that assassin players should be familiar with. Let’s dive right in!

The second and third spear skill slots share some characteristics. Each has three different states but will always be in the same state as the other. By default, they will both be lead attacks. Striking an enemy with either lead attack will flip both slots into the next state: follow-up attacks. In a similar fashion, striking an enemy with either follow-up attack will flip the slots into their final state: finisher attacks (yes, they’re both combo finishers).

After using one of the finishers, both skill slots will flip back to their lead attack state, ready to start a chain over again—although the fourth and fifth skills and the stealth attack all gain additional bonuses when following a finisher skill, so you may want to weave in one of those before using another lead attack. One last note on the skill chains: using other skills during the chain sequence will not reset the chain, but failing to strike an enemy with the follow-up attack will.

Now that we have a quick overview of the mechanic, let’s take a look at the full slot 2 chain. You’ll be able to mix and match skill slots throughout the chain (for example, 3, 2, 3 totally works), but we won’t be covering all of the skills today.

The Mantis Sting lead attack is a quick melee strike that inflicts bleeding and crippled. This will flip into Entangling Asp, which poisons enemies and will also immobilize enemies that are affected by a movement-impairing condition.

Finally we have the finisher skill, Falling Spider. This skill inflicts bleeding, poison, and vulnerability, inflicting additional stacks against enemies that are either immobilized or under the effects of crowd control. Each skill’s bonus trigger conditions are fulfilled by the previous skill in the chain, but these conditions are all things that the thief has broader access to, so there are opportunities to get these bonuses even when chaining skills together from different skill slots.

Engineer Spear Is Shocking!

An engineer wielding a spear in Janthir Wilds.

Surviving in certain lightning-prone environments can be a difficult task for the common Tyrian. Engineers, with their indomitable desire to create and adapt, have found a way to turn their knowledge against their enemies as weapons of mass destruction. Let’s talk about how we’ll be using the spear to dart around the battlefield and dominate targeted foes.

The engineer’s spear combat style is melee oriented with hybrid damage, encouraging you to pick a target and run directly into battle while utilizing a variety of control and damage skills. Your primary skill for this weapon is called Conduit Surge. This skill dashes to your targeted foe and applies the focused effect to them, charging them for future attacks. Every other weapon attack will apply a bonus effect or work to maintain the focused effect on your foe. One thing to note about Conduit Surge is that if a foe is defeated while under the focused effect, this skill will refresh and allow you to pursue your next target.

The Lightning Rod skill is constantly available while wielding a spear. The engineer will create a segmented lightning rod that spins around them, dealing bonus damage to focused targets and gaining an amplifying effect (with a bonus for hitting a focused target) for the next skill on the same slot—Electric Artillery. When the lightning rod is completed and hovering over your shoulder, you can choose to launch your charged rod at an enemy, immobilizing them and applying damaging conditions based on Lightning Rod’s success.

The weapon’s fifth skill and battle-ender is a skill currently called Devastation, which allows you to leap to a targeted area and deliver a massive EMP-style attack, inflicting focused foes with a continuously damaging effect.

We look forward to watching you tear around the battlefield, mixing both spears and kits together to cause fear and chaos!

A hero from Tyria showing off a new spear weapon skill.

Upcoming Spear News

We’ll be showing off all of the new spear skills during a Twitch livestream on June 21 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7). In addition, there will be a beta event from June 27 at 9:00 a.m. until June 30 at 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) where everyone can try out spears and give us feedback!

Our blog next week will have more information on the final three professions and their spear abilities. Happy adventuring until then!

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Astound Your Foes with the Disguised Umbrella Sword Skin!
11. Juni 2024 um 16:00 Uhr

Stay safe from an ambush and a downpour.

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    Disguised Umbrella Sword Skin

    Ingenuity in battle is the key to success. Surprise your enemies with a hidden weapon under the guise of a beautiful umbrella. This sneaky skin is available for 600 gems.

    What’s in Stock

    Dress to impress with our amazing outfits! Starting June 14 and continuing for the next few days, select outfits will be 20% off, including the Dragon’s Watch Regalia Outfit, Queensdale Academy Outfit, Ritualist Outfit, Timekeeper Outfit, and many more! You will be the star of the show!

    Returning This Week

    Material Storage Expanders, Recharging Teleport to Friend, Black Lion Expedition Board Contracts, and Black Lion Garden Plot Deeds are 20% off from today until June 25. All Dragon Bash items are 20% off until June 24. Celebrate Dragon Bash with wonderful, discounted goodies!

  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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Spearheading a New Weapon: Guardian, Ranger, and Necromancer
06. Juni 2024 um 16:00 Uhr

Spears are making landfall in Janthir Wilds. Let's take a look at some new skills!

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In case you missed the news, we’ve announced that our fifth expansion, Guild Wars 2®: Janthir Wilds™, arrives on August 20, and with it comes a brand-new way to fight with spears…on land. As promised in yesterday’s spear primer blog, we’re back and ready to dive into the details of how the guardian, ranger, and necromancer will utilize the terrestrial version of spears.

Game designers from the Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds combat feature team, Chun-Hong Fung, Taylor Brooks, and Cal Cohen, are here today to discuss the guardian, ranger, and necromancer respectively. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

Guardian Spears Are Quite Illuminating

a guardian in golden armor holds a spear above his head preparing for battle

Unlike the kodan that settled in the Shiverpeaks, the kodan of Janthir have long separated from their reverence for Koda. Instead, they’ve turned to the nature they’re surrounded by to guide their relationship with the world—the sun and all the benefits life seizes from it included. Certain spear bears look to the sun to channel inspiration in battle, aiding their allies and illuminating a path forward. Guardians have learned from these kodan and wield their spears in a similar manner, focusing on supporting allies and debilitating enemies.

While some of these skills can be used to provide support at a safe distance, their true potential is realized on the front lines when the guardian is fighting alongside their allies. By fulfilling specific conditions, certain spear skills will cause the following spear attack to be illuminated, which makes them stronger or grants them additional effects.

While you can only empower one skill at any given time, those skills can in turn grant the illuminated status to your next skill, allowing the guardian to chain multiple illuminated skills together with precise positioning. Let’s look at how a few of these skills work.

The second skill, Helio Rush, causes the guardian to charge forward in the direction they’re aiming, dealing damage to enemies and healing allies that they pass through. Striking an enemy during the rush causes the next spear attack to be illuminated. The illuminated version of Helio Rush increases the healing and additionally grants them resolution. Thus, this skill is best used in the thick of the fray, when you’re able to go through both allies and enemies at once.

Guardian weapons aren’t complete without a symbol of some sort, and the spear is no exception. The fifth skill, Symbol of Luminance, knocks enemies back as you cast it. The symbol pulses resistance to allies who don’t have it already and weakness to enemies. Symbol of Luminance is unique in that, unlike other spear skills, it does not have a way to grant the illuminated effect—but for good reason! While standing within the symbol, any spear attacks you perform are automatically illuminated, regardless of whether you are currently in the correct state. With the illuminated version of this skill, this property applies even if you leave the symbol and lasts for as long as the symbol does, including the additional duration granted by Writ of Persistence, an existing guardian trait.

Go Stealth with Ranger Spears

a female sylvari ranger surrounded in green magic about to throw a spear

Spear-wielding rangers excel at hunting their prey. They whittle their quarry down at range and then they finish them off with a surprise attack at melee range. Ranger’s spear features a new type of autoattack that some of the other spears will utilize as well. When at range, you’ll throw a spear at your target, but when you move closer to your foe, you’ll transition into using a melee chain! This bimodal model will help you always keep up pressure.

Rangers learn from the animals of Janthir to deftly wield their spear. Using Mongoose’s Frenzy, they’ll slash their spear in front of them as if they were a wild animal using their claws. Falcon’s Stoop throws a spear with the velocity of a raptor. Panther’s Prowl will kick up nearby brush, stealthing the ranger and their pet—and that’s when the fun begins.

Ranger spear features a new type of stealth attack. Unlike a thief, stealthing upgrades ranger spear’s 2 through 5 skills into new versions that share a cooldown with their base skill. Mongoose’s Frenzy flips into Wolf’s Onslaught; you swipe your spear as before and then follow up with a jab with the same force as a bite from a wolf’s gnashing fangs. Falcon’s Stoop becomes Owl’s Flight, launching an owl spirit that is wider and unblockable to fly through enemies.

Weaving in and out of melee range, rangers will use their spear to chip away at their prey before they go into stealth to finish the kill. Their unique stealth attacks will allow them to decide how they want to tactically approach any scenario.

Get Up Close with the Necromancer Spear

an asura necromancer conjures green magical wisps while wielding a dark spear

Now let’s take a look at some aspects of the necromancer spear. This spear is a melee power damage weapon that also brings some disruptive elements, a bit of mobility, and some strong burst potential through cooldown resets.

Many of the spear skills create soul shards, life-stealing objects that behave similarly to thief’s venoms, but they will only be consumed by strikes from the spear’s second skill. This allows them to be consistently built up to a maximum of six to reach a singular moment of power, instead of being immediately consumed by the next strike. These shards deal increased damage against low-health enemies and grant increased healing while your health is low, giving more opportunities for powerful execution sequences or the ability to sustain when nearing death yourself.

As mentioned above, soul shards will be consumed by Perforate, skill 2 on the spear. Perforate is a multihit attack that strikes enemies seven times, enough to consume all active soul shards. Perforate also deals increased damage against low-health enemies, which, combined with the low-health bonus damage of soul shards, makes it a potent skill for finishing the job.

In order to get full value out of Perforate, you’ll need to generate some soul shards first, so let’s look at another skill that might come in handy.

Skill 4 is Isolate, the singular long-ranged skill on the spear that serves as a gap closer. This skill throws a spear at the enemy, inflicting chill and vulnerability, and on successfully striking a target it flips into the follow-up skill, Distress. Activating the follow-up skill will teleport the necromancer to the target struck by the initial spear and generate soul shards. Additional shards are generated if the enemy does not have any nearby allies of their own, so this skill is great at creating opportunities to pick off lone enemy targets. Teleporting to an enemy will also fully recharge Perforate, so you’ll always be ready to consume your newly generated soul shards. Isolate will also recharge itself when exiting Death Shroud, giving access to a lot of potentially powerful sequences. Skills 3 and 5 also generate soul shards (among other things), but we’ll talk about those a bit more at a later date.

an overhead view of a guardian spear ability's magical effect

What’s Next?

Speaking of later dates, we’ll be showing off all of the new spear skills during a Twitch livestream on June 21 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7). In addition, there will be a beta event from June 27 at 9:00 a.m. until June 30 at 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) so everyone can try out spears and give us feedback!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll be back next week with more information on three more professions and their spear skills.

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Straight to the Point: A Primer on Spears in Janthir Wilds
05. Juni 2024 um 16:00 Uhr

Combat Designer Taylor Brooks answers your top questions about Tyria's newest weapon!

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Ho, travelers! My name is Taylor Brooks, and I am a combat designer here at ArenaNet. I’ll be your guide to our new combat feature in Guild Wars 2®: Janthir Wilds™, the Kodan Spear Training Mastery. By training with the lowland kodan of Janthir, you’ll learn how to use your spear on land in new and exciting ways. Starting tomorrow and over the next few weeks, we’ll be detailing how each profession utilizes the terrestrial spear. For today, I thought it would be a good idea to cover some of the general spear information you’ll need to know.

a character wielding a spear holds off a pack of wolves

Q: Will spears be one-handed or two-handed weapons on land?

A: Spears are two-handed weapons both on land and underwater.

Q: Will spears on land just use the same skills as when used underwater?

A: No! Every spear has an entirely new set of skills for each profession when used on land. They also have brand-new skill effects and animations that we are excited for everyone to see!

Q: If every profession is getting a spear, does that mean they will all feel the same?

A: Spears are a versatile weapon, and their gameplay will reflect that. Some professions will employ the spear as a ranged projectile weapon, some will wield it as a melee weapon, and others will utilize it as a magical focus to cast powerful spells.

Q: How can I unlock spear usage on land?

A: The ability to use terrestrial spears will be available when Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds launches. They will be locked behind the first Mastery in the Kodan Mastery line, which is discovered early in the story, or as a purchasable unlock in WvW. We want everyone to be able to use your spears early and throughout your journey in Janthir. As with all other combat features, Kodan Spear Training will be unlocked automatically in PvP for those who own Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds.

a ranger, guardian, and necromancer battle a foe using spears

Q: Can I use my current underwater spear on land?

A: Yes, spears can be used interchangeably in the aquatic and terrestrial weapon slots. But it is important to note that to equip a spear in both slots, you will need two spears.

Q: Which spear skins can I use on land?

A: All current spear skins will be able to be used on land. We also plan on adding spear skins with all future weapon skin collections.

Q: Will there be a new legendary spear?

A: There will be a new legendary spear released with our first major update following the expansion release. Additionally, the Legendary Armory will be expanded to store up to four Kamohoali’i Kotaki in case you want to wield all the spears, all the time!

Q: Since engineers and elementalists can use spears on land in the expansion, will they gain the ability to wield spears underwater too?

A: Professions that currently cannot use a spear underwater will continue to not be able to use a spear underwater.

Q: Do you need to own Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds to wield spears on land?

A: Yes, this combat feature requires ownership of the expansion.

A hero from Tyria showing off new spear abilities in the next GW2 expansion.

Q: Will there be a beta test for spears?

A: Yes! There will be a beta event from June 27 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) until June 30 at 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) that will give everyone a chance to try out spears and give us feedback. We’ll be announcing more information about that beta event soon.

Q: Will there be a livestream?

A: There will be a stream featuring your favorite developer (me) along with Cal Cohen and Roy Marks. We’ll show off all the new spear skills and do a deep dive into what you can expect with them. Be sure to tune in to our Twitch channel on June 21 at noon Pacific Time (UTC-7)!

We’ll be back tomorrow and in the coming weeks with more information about the new spears and their skills. We are very excited to give everyone a taste, and so I’ll leave you all with some teasers as to what you can expect to see!

  • A spear skill reminiscent of an old fan favorite.
  • A new type of autoattack mechanic.
  • A set of spear skills featuring a new spin on an existing skill type.
  • A set of spear skills with multiple ways to reset the cooldown of its key skill.
  • A melee spear skill that rewards careful positioning.
  • A set of spear skills that features a reimagining of a mechanic seen in the original Guild Wars.
  • A spear skill that inflicts a debilitating effect with a new unique effect.
  • A set of spear skills that require precise aiming at range.

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Announcing Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds
04. Juni 2024 um 16:01 Uhr

Our next expansion launches on August 20, bringing a year of new story chapters and updates, including a new weapon, account-wide personal housing, raids, and more.

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A fresh adventure is on the horizon! Guild Wars 2®: Janthir Wilds™ arrives on August 20, bringing with it another year of story chapters and content updates. Bristling with mursaat ruins and harrowing to navigate, the fabled Isles of Janthir have been carefully guarded by the wizards of the Astral Ward—and to most of Tyria’s denizens, they are a distant legend. But recent events have inspired the world’s leaders to create a Tyrian Alliance and dispatch the wayfinder to befriend new allies. As you seek out the lowland kodan colony in Janthir, you will explore, fight, and learn more about the mysteries of Tyria’s past.

We’ve got a little bit of information to provide about some key features of Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds in this blog, and between now and launch, you can stay tuned for even more details.

Beginning August 20, 2024

Prepurchasing any edition of Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds before the expansion launches at approximately 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) on August 20, 2024, will grant you the “Homesteader” title, the Whispering Serpents Pauldrons skin, and a box with your choice of one Serpent’s Wrath weapon skin.

Visit the official store page for full details on the items included in the Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate editions. You can purchase Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds through the official store or from the in-game store, Steam, or official retailers.

Expansion prepurchase items including shoulder armor with perched dragons on them and Serpent's Wrath weapons.

A New Adventure Beckons

At the launch of Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds, you’ll explore two new maps as you seek an alliance with the lowland kodan who call the Isle of Janthir home, master new ways to fight and explore, and unlock a homestead (an account-wide personal housing instance) of your own. Over the course of three quarterly releases that follow the initial launch, you’ll have the opportunity to challenge new content, explore additional story in a third new map, craft a legendary spear and backpack, and obtain new Wizard’s Vault rewards, cosmetic items, relic effects, and more.

An aerial view of a village in Janthir Wilds nestled near waterfalls and high cliffs

Homesteads

We’re excited to add our take on account-wide housing with Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds. Your journeys will lead you to your own homestead, an account-wide personal instance with a structure and land for you to decorate and cultivate. The Homesteads feature is unlocked and developed through an associated Mastery line as a place to express yourself, share space with your friends, and access nodes and unlockable resources from your personal story home instance. Before we launch on August 20, we’ll be back to share loads more information and a look at homestead decorating.

a cozy homestead with a straw roof beside a small lake

Wielding Spears on Land

Previously only available for underwater combat, spears will now have all-new skills for each profession on land. Spears can be used interchangeably in the aquatic and terrestrial weapon slots, but you will need to equip multiple spears to use them in both slots. The unlocked spear skins in your wardrobe will work with both versions, and if you’ve made Kamohoali’i Kotaki, the legendary spear, you can equip it through the legendary armory in either slot!

a character wielding a spear with a fiery explosion triggering from the upcoming attack

Raids and Encounters

Additional challenging encounters will become available alongside new story chapters in the three major releases that follow Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds. In the first of these releases, anticipated to release around November 2024, you’ll get to challenge a new raid comprising three encounters. The story of these encounters will be accessible in two ways: through a classic 10-player raid instance (our eighth raid), or with large groups in open-world events.

two brown lowland kodan are standing guard outside a wooden building.

The Warclaw

In Janthir Wilds, the warclaw mount will be featured with new mechanics. Previously only available through World vs. World, the warclaw will be introduced to players in the story of Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds, including new skills for PvE play. At the same time, we’ll be revisiting the warclaw’s WvW skills to provide a refreshed experience that builds on what we’ve learned about mounts since first implementing the warclaw.

A character is scouting for danger while mounted on a feline-looking warclaw

Developing a New PvP Mode

And we’ve got one final thing to share for now: Over the course of the coming year, we’ll also be seeking input from the community on a new PvP game mode we aim to implement. We have a prototype of a map and mechanics that we’ll be ready to start beta testing later this year, and we’ll iterate on and refine that, taking into account your feedback on the beta tests.

a Janthir Wilds environment showing vibrant crimson foliage and misty hills in the background

Guild Wars 2 Is Coming to the Epic Games Store

Guild Wars 2 and all of its expansions will be coming to the Epic Games Store! We’re always excited for a new opportunity to introduce Guild Wars 2 to new players, and we’re looking forward to welcoming in players with Epic Games accounts later this summer.

Stay Tuned

Again, you can visit the official store or hop into the game to purchase the upcoming expansion, Guild Wars 2: Janthir Wilds. Between now and launch on August 20, we’ll be sharing additional information about the features and content like the new spear skills, Homesteads, raids, and more.

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Explore the Wilds with the Janthir Caprine Warclaw Mount Pack
04. Juni 2024 um 16:00 Uhr

Celebrate today's expansion announcement with amazing new mount skins, a new weapon collection, and more!

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    Janthir Caprine Warclaw Mount Pack

    Venture into our new expansion with new skins for your versatile warclaw. These horned companions have the perfect temperament and fierceness to navigate the deadly terrain in your wild adventures! This mount pack contains the Highland Caprine Warclaw Skin, Striated Caprine Warclaw Skin, and Charged Caprine Warclaw Skin. These staunch mount skins are available for 1,600 gems.

    The warclaw mount will be featured in Guild Wars 2®: Janthir Wilds™ and available for your PvE adventures, so make sure you check out our expansion announcement blog to find out more!

    Black Lion Chest Update: Regal Waves

    Inside each chest, you’re guaranteed to find a redeemable Black Lion Statuette, a Gnashblade Dragon Coffer, and two common items. You also have a chance to find something rarer in the fifth slot, including special items, glyphs, and skins from the Shimmering Aurora Weapon Collection and the Snow Garden Weapon Collection.

    Exclusive Item: Flowing Scaled Cape

    The beauty of the pearly ocean embellishes this flowing cape. Become part of a regal sea fairytale with its majestic splendor.

    Chromatic Assassin Weapon Collection

    Cut down your enemies with precision and a dash of colorful flair. Your deadly mark will be punctuated with a magnificent rainbow spectrum.

    One character is facing away and wearing a beautiful sea green cloak made of fish scales and flowing water. Another wields a sharp scythe-staff with a multicolored blade.

    What’s in Stock

    Starting June 7 and continuing for the next few days, select unique armor skins will be 20% off, including the Cat-Ear Hood Skin, Shoulder Scarf Skin, Immortal Halo Package, Chaos Gloves Skin, and many more. Dress fashionably with our incredible discounts!

    Returning This Week

    Until June 18, the Copper-Fed Salvage-o-Matic, Silver-Fed Salvage-o-Matic, Runecrafter’s Salvage-o-Matic, and Equipment Template Expansions are 20% off and Build Template Expansions are 40% off. All Dragon Bash items are 20% off until June 24. Smash and salvage to your heart’s content!

    Three characters sit on new warclaw mounts that resemble giant multi-horned rams. One is brown, one has red highlights, and the last is magical with streaks of blue lightning.

  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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Secrets of the Obscure: Looking Back and Forward
28. Mai 2024 um 16:01 Uhr

A brief retrospective on the development of our last expansion.

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Hey, Guild Wars community,

Josh Davis here, Game Director for Guild Wars 2®. Last week’s content update was a significant milestone for us—both technically and symbolically. It marked the final major release for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure™(SotO), our first foray into the annual expansion model first announced in early 2023.

As we conclude one chapter with the final content update of SotO, we are eagerly preparing to unveil the details of our next expansion. Before we all get swept up by next week’s news of what’s coming for Guild Wars 2, I want to take a moment to reflect on the development of SotO and some of the high-level learnings that we’ve taken forward with us into our fifth expansion. You won’t learn about the specific features, setting, or story of our next expansion in this blog post (that’s for next week), but you’ll have a better understanding of how we’re approaching its development.

The Key Art for the SotO expansion

Retrospective

A quick history refresher. A little over a year and a half ago, we announced that we we’d be transitioning from the long-standing Living World model to smaller, more frequent (annual) expansion releases. This was a significant shift, but the new direction was born out of an examination of the pain points experienced by our players and our developers. The reasons we laid out for this change, and what we hoped to achieve by it, were simple but deeply important:

  • Deliver content updates in a more consistent and timely manner.
  • Provide better support for the systems and game modes that make up the Guild Wars 2 experience.
  • Enable ArenaNet employees to enjoy a better work-life balance.

Now that we’ve completed a full expansion release cycle, I can confidently say that we’ve made significant strides toward these goals. But as with all things, there’s room for improvement—both in terms of the content we deliver and the processes through which we deliver it. For today, I’m going to focus on some of what we’ve learned on the content side of things.

The Key Art for the Through the Veil update

Story

The conclusion of the Elder Dragon saga in Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons® presented us with a unique opportunity to delve into a different kind of storytelling. We aimed to focus on deeper narratives grounded in the characters and circumstances around the player character. However, with SotO our ambition led us to take on a broader scope than was feasible. We introduced a lot of new characters, and the plot was too complex for what can be reasonably handled within an annual expansion. This left some character interactions feeling rushed and story threads unexplored. More isn’t always better.

We learned a lot from this experience and have a much greater understanding of story scale within our new release structure. For our next expansion, we’re going to tell a more grounded story set in a new region of Tyria, with more of a focus on local threats and the global conversation around those threats. Tyria, despite all its challenges, has continued to stir. While we leave Nayos and the Kryptis to enjoy their newfound freedom, the story will pick up on some threads started in Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure—continuing with the Astral Ward arc, their moral ambiguity, and their relationship to Tyria.

The Key Art for the Realm of Dreams update

Map Design

In SotO, we delivered three new open-world maps. The first two, Amnytas and Skywatch Archipelago, came with the expansion’s launch in August 2023. The third map, Inner Nayos, was released with the first quarterly update in November 2023 and was then expanded on in our second and third quarterly updates with new playable space and event content.

After extensive adventuring in Inner Nayos in recent months, it’s clear that using a single map as the main focal point for three releases is not ideal from a player or developer standpoint. Our decision to do so originally stemmed from production constraints and overlapping development timelines between expansions, but we’ve since identified some ways to mitigate those issues—both in terms of release structure and process improvements.

For our next expansion, our first two maps will be released at the expansion’s launch just as they did in SotO. However, the final map will arrive in the second quarterly update and be expanded upon in the third—meaning it will be expanded on for two total releases like Bjora Marches and Drizzlewood Coast. Not only does this give our team a bit more time to develop the third map, it also means that the story during the next expansion cycle will better leverage all three maps and take you back to familiar areas from your past adventures. While the first quarterly release after the expansion’s launch won’t include the third open-world map of the expansion, as it did with SotO, there will be plenty of new content to keep you busy in that timeframe—in terms of story, open world content, and encounters. I know that’s a little vague (again, check back in next week), but rest assured, that first quarterly release will include something really exciting that players have been requesting for over 5 years.

The Key Art for the Midnight King update

Features

MMOs are made up of numerous gameplay systems and content types, each with a different role to play in the game experience. As games go on, they tend to accumulate more and more systems and features from expansions and the like, which…is fine…if there’s effort put into maintaining and updating those systems. Looking back over the game’s history, I think this maintenance and upkeep is one of the areas where we’ve fallen short, at times even falling into the trap of releasing new features for the sake of releasing new features even if they overlap with something that already exists. This is something we’ve been referring to internally as “putting a hat on a hat.”

Over the last two years, we’ve put much more of a focus on upkeep and iteration of systems and avoiding unnecessary bloat where possible. We put more of a focus on maintaining live game systems, and with SotO we even went to the extent of entirely reworking existing features to make room for more modernized solutions. The Wizard’s Vault is a good example of this strategy working out well for us, and you can expect to see a new system being introduced in expansion 5 that adds a meaningful new way to spend your time in Guild Wars 2 while using this as an opportunity to greatly improve the player experience with related, existing game systems.

Overall, we were a bit conservative with features in Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure—trying to strike the right balance between scope, schedule, and risk while navigating a new content structure. We’ve ironed out a lot of the kinks here, and it’s allowed us to be a bit more ambitious with our next expansion. Next week can’t come soon enough!

Such a Tease

We closed out one of our recent blogs—which introduced the Cosmetic Inspection feature and recapped some of the quality-of-life changes that have gone into the game thanks to the development approach we took to Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure—with a screenshot preview of an area you’ll discover in our next expansion. We thought today would be a fun opportunity to build on that, so I’ll leave you with an additional environment preview.

On behalf of ArenaNet, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support, your passion, and your feedback! It’s not lost on us just how incredibly lucky we are to have such a dedicated community behind us, and we look forward to discovering more of Tyria’s secrets together with you for years to come.

Thanks for reading! I can’t believe that we’re just a week away from announcing what’s next for Guild Wars 2. I’m really excited about what we’ve created, and I think you will be, too.

—Josh Davis, Game Director

A timeline of major updates to Guild Wars 2 from 2023 to 2024.

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Raven’s Marvelous Blessings Arrive in the Gem Store
28. Mai 2024 um 16:00 Uhr

Flock toward these new items and discounts!

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    Raven Vest Skin and Raven Leggings Skin

    The journey of venerable wisdom is long and wondrous. Raven will fly alongside you, whether you face loss or legend; you can always count on his keen insight. The Raven Helm Skin, Raven Mantle Skin, Raven Gloves Skin, and Raven Greaves Skin are back in the Gem Store—complete your sacred look with our beautifully tailored raven armor pieces. The Raven Vest Skin and Raven Leggings Skin are available for 500 gems each.

    A character wearing a leather breastplate with the symbol of Raven on it and matching leggings.

    What’s in Stock

    Starting May 31 and continuing for the next few days, select permanent finishers and lounge passes will be 20% off, including the Mistlock Sanctuary Passkey, Lava Lounge Pass Bundle, Permanent Snowman Finisher, Permanent Snow Globe Finisher, and Permanent Gift Finisher! Pick up your favorite items at an amazing discount!

    Returning This Week

    In need of a little change? Black Lion Chest Keys, Transmutation Charges, Total Makeover Kits, Self-Style Hair Kits, and Name Change Contracts are 20% off from today until June 4. Get ready for an amazing summer!

    A character wearing a leather breastplate with the symbol of Raven on it and matching leggings.

  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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“The Midnight King” Is Now Live!
21. Mai 2024 um 16:01 Uhr

Experience Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure's finale today.

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“The Midnight King” Is Live

Today is a momentous day for the studio and Guild Wars 2® fans as we launch the finale for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure™ entitled “The Midnight King”! This update contains three new story chapters that begin after the events of “The Realm of Dreams”. Eparch hunkers in the spires of Zakiros, amassing unfathomable power. Shoulder to shoulder with an unlikely alliance of soldiers, wizards, and demons, the wayfinder spearheads a desperate attempt to overthrow the Midnight King and take the throne of the Realm of Dreams.

As a refresher, this update—and the two major updates before it—are part of the Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure content cycle and therefore included for anyone who owns the expansion!

Items from the new Wizard's Vault refresh, including Lunar Astrolabe weapons and an Enchanted Skimmer Skin.

What’s New?

Our studio update blog from last week gives a great overview of what to expect for Guild Wars 2 over the next couple of months. If you haven’t read it yet, you may have missed that we’re adding reticle customization to the action camera and a sixth guild slot! As for today, “The Midnight King” update contains oodles of new things to do, places to explore, and rewards to collect. There are also tons of bug fixes and polish throughout all of the Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure content. Here are some highlights of today’s update:

  • Three new story chapters
  • Suffused Obsidian legendary armor (more dye channels and effects!)
  • The Lonely Tower fractal dungeon (challenge mode coming June 4!)
  • Six new relics
  • Wizard’s Vault seasonal refresh (remember, cosmetic items you missed are now in the Legacy Rewards tab and don’t expire!)
  • Completed Inner Nayos explorable zone with new adventures and events
    • Into the Spider’s Lair epic meta-event finale
  • Expanded Astral Ward Mastery: Wayfinder Mastery
  • Convergences challenge mode introduced
  • New legendary Convergences boss: Umbriel, Halberd of House Aurkus
  • New ranger pet: juvenile spinegazer
  • Additional events and adventures added to Amnytas
  • Many new achievements and rewards

Twitch Drops

Twitch drops are back! From May 21 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-8) to May 26 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-8), you’ll be able to earn a Guild Wars 2 Classic Outfit Selection by watching any Twitch channel broadcasting Guild Wars 2 for 6 hours. The Guild Wars 2 Classic Outfit Selection allows you to choose one outfit to unlock permanently on your account.

Various characters wearing outfits included in the Twitch Drops promotion.

We’re thrilled to see the community experience the finale to this expansion today, and be sure to check out the full update notes for “The Midnight King” on the official Guild Wars 2 forums.

Lastly, we’d like to share a gallery of screenshots for “The Midnight King” with all of you.

Happy gaming!

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Soar, Sit, and Mount Up with These New Gem Store Goodies
21. Mai 2024 um 16:00 Uhr

Soft wolves, fluffy clouds, and epic debates will be the highlight of your week!

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    Wolf Griffon Skin

    Wolf’s loyalty caresses your every step and guides you into the frozen skies. The pack within your heart is blessed, high above and far below. It’s a promise from the wild. The Wolf Griffon Skin can be purchased for 1,600 gems.

    A griffon mount skin that has the head of a gray wolf.

    Fluffy Clouds Glider

    This soft glider will take you to the fluffiest heights—fly free and happy on your whimsical adventure! Your new sweeter-than-cotton-candy dream begins over the clouds. This cheery skin is available for 500 gems.

    A charr hovers in the air, staying afloat with the Fluffy Clouds Glider.

    Black Lion Chest Update: Constructive Commenter’s Chest

    Inside each chest, you’re guaranteed to find a redeemable Black Lion Statuette, a Fine Black Lion Dye Canister—Blue, and two common items. You also have a chance to find something rarer in the fifth slot, including special items, glyphs, and skins from the Dark Matter Weapon Collection and the Paladin’s Decree Weapon Collection.

    Exclusive Item: Council of Commentators Chair

    Discuss the action as it unfolds and react with your friends—from the current leaderboard in World vs. World to epic battles against dragon champions!

    Three characters sit at a sport commentator's desk with high-tech chairs.

    Shadow Chevalier Weapon Collection

    Venture into the shadows and walk the dark path you’ve chosen with your unshakable will. Be merciless as you mete out justice with this sleek weapon collection. These weapon skins are available in exchange for Black Lion Claim tickets or from other players on the trading post.

    What’s in Stock

    Starting May 24 and continuing for the next few days, select mount skins will be 20% off, including the Synergetics Gyrocycle Roller Beetle Skin, Nightfang Griffon Skin, Primal Spirit Jackal Skin, Dark Monarch Skyscale Skin, and many more! Race the streets with these amazing mounts!

    Returning This Week

    The world of Tyria is filled with endless stories to discover. These discounts will help you kick-start your journey! Black Lion Instant Level 80 Tickets and all Living World seasons and episodes are 20% off starting today until May 28.

    A griffon mount skin that has the head of a gray wolf.

  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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